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The book wasn’t even there the first time Diana saw the apartment. She’d swear to it.

But then, as she was brushing her teeth that first night after moving in, something thudded in the bedroom. She finished rinsing, then went searching for the source.

It had been easy to find, thanks to the cloud of dust still hanging in front of what she thought was an empty bookcase.

There, on the middle shelf, an old leather tome lay on its side. Diana fanned the grime from the air and picked up the book, read the single word in gold lettering on the front cover: “Diary.”

She had felt guilty cracking open the pages at first, but the glimpse of those first few words had her hooked.

“Dear diary–” the fountain ink read, painted there on top of brittle yellow paper, “I think I might be somebody.”

It was profound, heart-wrenching … intriguing.

Over the next month, the hopes and angst of a young woman named Dharma captured Diana’s heart like no work of literature ever could. Dharma recounted her struggle to break free from a poor upbringing, go to college, become a doctor.

Dharma became Diana’s bedtime companion, and, with the stack of unread pages growing thin, Diana forced herself to stop reading one cold Tuesday night. She placed her bookmark at the end of a passage full of hope, Dharma bursting with excitement that she had been accepted to Columbia.

“It’s all going according to plan.”

On Wednesday night, Diana slid under the covers and cracked open the diary, leafing forward to discover … a blank page.

It was the cruelest cut she could imagine, but also Dharma’s greatest gift to her … the chance to dream, to write her own ending.

As Diana drifted off to sleep, life’s possibilities seemed boundless.

Published inFlash Fiction

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